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Migrating from 2x500GB RAID 0 > 240GB OCZ SSD on Dell XPS 8300 - Help!

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  • SSD
  • Dell Studio Xps
  • NAS / RAID
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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January 13, 2012 6:39:57 AM

Ok, so I'll try to be as concise as possible here.

I have a new XPS 8300 (Windows 7, 64-bit) with a fresh factory install (Includes diagnostic and backup partitions) on 2X500GB drives in a RAID 0 configuration.

I just connected my 240GB OCZ SSD to the computer using the last power and SATA cables slots. The BIOS recognizes the drive, and my device manager does as well. Windows 7 said it installed the drivers for the SSD successfully after initial start-up.

Problem #1: However, I do not see it in "My Computer".

Using the details tab of the SSD's properties, I was able to determine that the Hardware ID that the drive came with was 2.15, which I believe is the newest firmware version? So I think I'm good there...

Problem #2: How (if it's possible) do I move everything (including diagnostic and backup partitions) from the 2X500GB drives to my 240GB SSD? Can I use something like: ToDo Backup (Free version)?

Thank-you so much! I'll keep this thread updated!

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More about : migrating 2x500gb raid 240gb ocz ssd dell xps 8300

January 13, 2012 7:34:30 AM

remove x2 500gb ,connect ssd only then Format the drive using windows boot cd/dvd ,after seperate partitions cancel instal ,then connect al now work ur ssd,trick at partition 102501=100Gb accurately
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January 13, 2012 8:08:25 PM

hitechgowthaman said:
remove x2 500gb ,connect ssd only then Format the drive using windows boot cd/dvd ,after seperate partitions cancel instal ,then connect al now work ur ssd,trick at partition 102501=100Gb accurately


Yikes... cryptic, much? Sorry, I couldn't understand the last half of what you said.

Anyone?
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January 13, 2012 8:30:15 PM


Problem #1: However, I do not see it in "My Computer".

Go to My Computer, Right-Click, Manage, Disk Management
You should see the SSD but with all space unallocated.
Right-click the unallocated space, create a partition, and do a quick format.
Now you should see the drive under My Computer, ready to receive data.

Problem #2: How (if it's possible) do I move everything (including diagnostic and backup partitions) from the 2X500GB drives to my 240GB SSD?

I make sure I have at least one Western Digital drive connected to the computer (a USB external works fine), then install the free Acronis True Image WD edition software. It has worked flawlessly to clone from drive to drive, or to make an image backup that I can restore to a different drive. I've used it on dozens of drives and computers, and all flavors of Windows (XP and newer).

I keep a WD 2.5" drive in a small USB enclosure just so I can use their software anywhere I need it. If you don't have a WD drive, Acronis True Image is well worth the cost, IMHO.

I hope this helps!
-- Brian
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January 13, 2012 8:56:30 PM

stewartwb said:

Problem #1: However, I do not see it in "My Computer".

Go to My Computer, Right-Click, Manage, Disk Management
You should see the SSD but with all space unallocated.
Right-click the unallocated space, create a partition, and do a quick format.
Now you should see the drive under My Computer, ready to receive data.

Problem #2: How (if it's possible) do I move everything (including diagnostic and backup partitions) from the 2X500GB drives to my 240GB SSD?

I make sure I have at least one Western Digital drive connected to the computer (a USB external works fine), then install the free Acronis True Image WD edition software. It has worked flawlessly to clone from drive to drive, or to make an image backup that I can restore to a different drive. I've used it on dozens of drives and computers, and all flavors of Windows (XP and newer).

I keep a WD 2.5" drive in a small USB enclosure just so I can use their software anywhere I need it. If you don't have a WD drive, Acronis True Image is well worth the cost, IMHO.

I hope this helps!
-- Brian


Thank-you Brian for your reply!

Problem #1: So when I go to the Disk Management tool in Win7, it says I must first "Initialize Disk". It's giving me the option of using a Master Boot Record (MBR) or a GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition style. Which do I choose?

Problem #2: Migrating the OS from 2X500 RAID 0 > 240GB SSD

My Dell XPS8300's RAID setup comes with 3 partitions. 1 is a 39MB one (don't know what that is), the main 918GB one (C:) , and then a 13.25GB recovery partition. Question #1: Will True Image be able to copy all of the partitions and successfully move them to the 240GB SSD? By successfully, I mean, will the recovery partition still be usable?

Question #2: Also, will there be problems trying to move an image from a 1GB RAID0 setup to a 240GB non-RAID one using True Image?

I had to go to into my BIOS to tell what kind of drives are used in my RAID0 setup. It turns out they are WD5000AAKX drives, so they are Western Digital. Question #3: So I guess I can use the free edition, right?

Question #4: Oh, and is True Image one of the only few ones that can do this kind of a transfer?

Sorry these are kind of newbie questions, I just want to be sure. Thanks!
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a c 353 G Storage
January 13, 2012 10:03:35 PM

The problem is that the Drivers on your current HDD (in the Operating system) are for a Raid setup.

The majority here recommend that you do a clean install when moving from a HDD -> and SSD. A clean install will correctly align the Partition and enable trim.

If you do decide on cloning, The cloning software must NOT include the Raid0 driver, also the 100 mb sytems partition is required for proper alignment, also you will have to manually enable trim (not a biggy).

PS the reason you do not se it in my computer is that it is not initialized. If you were to go into disk manager it will show up as an un-initialized disk. Disk manager will allow you to partition and format AFTER initialization, same as any NEW HDD. This is done when windows installs operating system.

Added; May of the new SSDs do come with clonning software, normally acronis, or as mine included Norton ghost. Many do clone from an AHCI HDD -> SSD. For optimium performance SSDs should be in AHCI mode. When used on an intel chipset the Bios can be set to raid and as long as the SSD is not a member drive of an Raid arry the SSD will use ahci (the driver wilbe Intels iaSTor) and trim will be passed to the drive.

PS if the cloning does not work, you should do a secure erease before either retrying, or Re-installing the operating system. This is difference between HHDs and SSDs. A HDD will simply overwrite each sector. SSDs are set up on blocks and (in a nut shell) can not simply overwrite, and formating is not the same as a secure erease.
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January 14, 2012 1:16:46 AM

RetiredChief said:
The problem is that the Drivers on your current HDD (in the Operating system) are for a Raid setup.

The majority here recommend that you do a clean install when moving from a HDD -> and SSD. A clean install will correctly align the Partition and enable trim.

If you do decide on cloning, The cloning software must NOT include the Raid0 driver, also the 100 mb sytems partition is required for proper alignment, also you will have to manually enable trim (not a biggy).

PS the reason you do not se it in my computer is that it is not initialized. If you were to go into disk manager it will show up as an un-initialized disk. Disk manager will allow you to partition and format AFTER initialization, same as any NEW HDD. This is done when windows installs operating system.

Added; May of the new SSDs do come with clonning software, normally acronis, or as mine included Norton ghost. Many do clone from an AHCI HDD -> SSD. For optimium performance SSDs should be in AHCI mode. When used on an intel chipset the Bios can be set to raid and as long as the SSD is not a member drive of an Raid arry the SSD will use ahci (the driver wilbe Intels iaSTor) and trim will be passed to the drive.

PS if the cloning does not work, you should do a secure erease before either retrying, or Re-installing the operating system. This is difference between HHDs and SSDs. A HDD will simply overwrite each sector. SSDs are set up on blocks and (in a nut shell) can not simply overwrite, and formating is not the same as a secure erease.


Hi retiredchief,

The main reason I would want to clone is so that I have the recovery partition that I have with my 2X500 HDs. If I decide to, how do I make sure that the cloning software (True Image WD edition) doesn't copy the Raid0 driver? Also, I have no idea what trim is, or how to enable it... Also, how can I tell if my SSD is in AHCI mode? Lastly, what is a secure erase, and how do I perform one if I need to?

Thanks!
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a c 353 G Storage
January 14, 2012 4:28:45 AM

Past my Bedtime, but easiest first.
Trim: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIM
How to enable: http://forum.corsair.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86403

I understand about saving the recovery partition: Had the same problem in my new laptop. I ended up using there backup program to creat a seperate restore disk Might be able to create a back up of that partition seperate (like doing a back up of a "D" data drive.

As to using the software cloning program, I'm not sure. This evening I just cloned my SSD -> new SSD, but that was very straight forward. Some of the cloning software is "smart enought" with given imput to not copy some drivers. On first boot windows will detect missing driver and load a microsoft default driver.

Some of what I found googling cloning a raid0 to a single SSD.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/263880-32-clone-raid-...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/266431-32-best-strate...
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January 14, 2012 10:18:44 AM

Problem #1: So when I go to the Disk Management tool in Win7, it says I must first "Initialize Disk". It's giving me the option of using a Master Boot Record (MBR) or a GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition style. Which do I choose?

Master Boot Record partition tables are "classic." You should choose MBR by default, since they are recognized by pretty much all operating systems and utilities.

GUID Partition Tables are somewhat cutting-edge, and only required for disks > 2TB. Many computers won't boot from a drive with a GPT.

Problem #2: Migrating the OS from 2X500 RAID 0 > 240GB SSD
Question #1: Will True Image be able to copy all of the partitions and successfully move them to the 240GB SSD? By successfully, I mean, will the recovery partition still be usable?


When I do a Disk Clone and select the entire disk, True Image copies all partitions, boot sector, and partition table. It may resize partitions to larger or smaller size, depending on the relative sizes of the drives. By default, it makes some choices for you, but gives you advanced options if you need to adjust the partition sizes manually.

Question #2: Also, will there be problems trying to move an image from a 1GB RAID0 setup to a 240GB non-RAID one using True Image?

As other posters have noted, converting RAID to non-RAID could present an issue during boot. I've used True Image on laptops and desktops with many drives and complex partition schemes, and it's always worked well. I have not yet used it to convert RAID to non-RAID.

The only other obvious issue is that the 1TB RAID volume might have more data in it than the SSD can hold. True Image will clone a larger drive to a smaller one so long as the data doesn't exceed the smaller drive's capacity.

Question #3: So I guess I can use the free edition, right?

So long as the RAID configuration doesn't prevent the installer from identifying the drives as WD brand. There's no way to know unless you download it and give it a try. (The installer is about 115MB, as I recall.)

Question #4: Oh, and is True Image one of the only few ones that can do this kind of a transfer?

It's the one I have the most experience with, since I often use WD drives, and they made a free version available. I've been cloning hard drives since 1995 or so using HDCP and Ghost for DOS. True Image isn't the only tool like it, but it has been the most reliable and capable tool I've used on Windows XP, Vista, and 7. I haven't had a need to look elsewhere.

SUMMARY
I suggest you download Acronis True Image WD Edition and give it a try. The worst case is that it won't work and you'll have to seek another solution. In the process, though, you'll learn a bit about cloning and disk management, which will be useful experience going forward. (At least skim through the user's guide.) You need to get comfortable with this sort of thing if you plan to handle your own upgrades and computer migrations.

Others mentioned aligning partitions. True Image resizes and aligns partitions for efficiency automatically. I'm not sure whether it accounts for the new alignment issues for Advanced Format drives, but I doubt that your SSD uses Advanced Format (low-level sector size grew from 512 bytes to 4K bytes to accommodate drives > 2TB).

Finally, did Dell give you a set of recovery media on CD/DVD? If so, I would try a fresh install of Windows onto your SSD using those disks. Once Windows is installed, you should be able to boot from either the RAID or the SSD by switching the boot order in your BIOS or pressing the hotkey for a boot menu.

This task could be fairly complicated due to the RAID setup. Ideally you should disconnect both RAID disks so the only disk the computer sees is the SSD, to avoid any chance of installing on the wrong drive or erasing your data. I'm not sure how your BIOS will react when both drives are disconnected.

It sounds like a fun project, though, and a good learning opportunity.

If you have another PC or an external hard disk, I strongly encourage you to begin by copying any files you can't easily replace to that other storage - photos, documents you've created, etc. Also, visit Dell's web site and download the latest drivers for your computer / operating system and put them on a flash drive or external hard drive, so you can easily reinstall them.

Good luck!

-- Brian
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a c 353 G Storage
January 14, 2012 5:09:40 PM

Acronis True Image Home (WD) version will not do it:
Based on the quote below, What I would do is contact Acron is and ask them if they have a Solution - I'm sure it is NOT available in their Low end & free program, but may have it in an addon. THE Best option is to obtain a replacement installation disk from DELL - give them a call.
Older Post response from Acronis
quote:
Hello jdoty and shadesofjay,

Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

We are sorry for delayed response.

Please notice that changing from a RAID to a single drive is like moving a system to a different hardware (depending on controller used). The resulting system may fail to boot as it lacks necessary drivers.

Acronis solution for transferring of a system to different hardware is Acronis Universal Restore. Acronis Universal Restore technology provides an efficient solution for hardware-independent system restoration by replacing the crucial Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) and mass storage device drivers.

Note that Acronis Universal Restore is a plug-in for corporate versions of Acronis True Image and in your case we would recommend that you use Acronis True Image Echo Workstation.

Acronis Universal Restore is used with image archives and you can find basic instructions on how to use it here. Detailed instructions can be found in the Acronis True Image Echo Workstation User's Guide.

We recommend you to download and install the free trial version of Acronis True Image Echo Workstation to see how the software works on your computer. With the trial version of the product you will be able to fully use the Windows version for 15 days. The bootable rescue media will be limited to restore function.

Please also be aware that the trial version of Acronis Universal Restore is not available on Acronis web site. In order to obtain the trial version of Acronis Universal Restore please contact Acronis Support Team. Explain your wish to obtain the free trial version of Acronis Universal Restore and provide your personal information (full name; phone number along with the area code; company name, if any) along with the link to this thread. We'll provide you with the free trial version of Acronis Universal Restore as soon as possible.

Thank you.
--
Marat Setdikov
END quote - Ref: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=204032
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January 16, 2012 7:03:55 PM

Wow, thanks for your guys replies.

That trial software from True Image sounds like it might do the job, but I'm not sure I want to go that route, though I'll have to keep it in mind.

I may end up doing a fresh install on the SSD.

The one thing that I really want to keep (though it would have been nice to not have to worry about installing all the drivers from Dell which is a major pain), and move over for that matter is the recovery partition on the RAID 0. After installing the OS onto the SSD, can I format the main partition on the RAID 0, and keep the recovery partition intact in case of an emergency? Or, can I copy JUST THAT PARTITION over onto the SSD? (around 30GB)

Oh, and lastly, do I initialize my SSD from Windows before I start installing Win7 from scratch?

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a c 353 G Storage
January 16, 2012 7:13:34 PM

Windows will initilize the SSD during install.
Yes you can keep that partition (Recovery) on the Raid0 setup and reformate the other partion for reuse. You my be able to BU the recovery partion an put on a single drive, worth a try) as it is not the Boot partion/drive.
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January 16, 2012 9:35:25 PM

Ok, cool. So I can keep the backup partition on the RAID 0, and then format the 900GB or so and use that for storage then...

I'm also looking into getting Acronis® Backup & Recovery™ 11 Workstation with the Universal Restore option. If that works, it could save me a lot of hassle in the future. The option only adds another $15, but it's still $89 which is a bit...

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January 19, 2012 9:42:48 PM

Best answer selected by timothius.
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